Metaphysics and Epistemology of the Nyãya Tradition II

01.11.2006 - 30.09.2011

Project lead: Karin Preisendanz

FWF, P19328-G03


  • Daniele Cuneo (01.09.2010-31.8.2011)
  • Alessandro Graheli (01.07.2011-39.09.2011)
  • Sung Yong Kang (01.11.2006-30.09.2011)
  • Yasutaka Muroya (01.11.2006-31.8.2010)

In this project, the collation of 47 manuscripts of the Nyāyabhāṣya (NBh) was completed for the text of NBh 1; for the Trisūtrībhāṣya, i.e., the programmatic and extensive commentary on the first three sūtra-s of the Nyāyasūtra, a total of 51 mss. could be considered. Furthermore, the collation of 14 selected mss. was extended to include NBh 2.1. All 67 available mss. were described in detail; through the meticulously compiled data, the descriptions constitute a rich contribution to South Asian codicology of the medieval and modern period.
In the course of the collation, the stemmatic hypothesis, which was set up in the previous project for the witnesses of NBh 1.1.1-3, could be expanded and greatly refined. Subsequently, the collated text of NBh 1.1.1-3, which comprises roughly 1.500 words or 21% of the text of NBh 1, was comprehensively analysed and various hypothetical trees were generated with the help of PAUP and MacClade, cladistics software, principally designed for phylogenetic analyses in evolutionary biology. The best genealogical tree generated by PAUP reached a consistency index (CI) of 0.87; together with alternative trees generated by this program, it was taken into consideration for the revision of the stemma. MacClade illustrates the variant readings for each lemma as taxa that characterize the individual points of branching of the lines of textual transmission for the respective lemma. These taxa can then be individually examined and evaluated with regard to their significance from the philological as well as palaeographical point of view. In this way, the voluminous collational data for NBh 1.1.1-3 was systematically analyzed.
The overall results of this innovative approach that combines conventional philology, textual criticism and cladistics, confirmed the hypothesis about six clearly distinct sub-families of mss. and led to its considerable precision. Especially the character of J1D, a ms. from Jaisalmer datable to the early 13th c., and TML, a ms. from Trivandrum, the two most important mss., could be reliably asserted, as well as their crucial position and mutual relationship within the transmission of the NBh. Further, altogether 19 mss. could be identified with reasonable certainty as direct copies of other mss. On this basis and through the constant observations made at the editorial meetings, much progress was achieved towards gaining a clearer picture of the transmission of the NBh. The analysis showed that the archetype of the text is located between two reconstructable hyparchetypes, U and a Keralese hyparchetype so far solely represented by TML. The readings of TML and of J1D (together with its apograph J2D dated to 1444/1445), a descendant of U, can often be used to reconstruct the archetype; both TML and J1D have never been utilized before for any edition of the NBh. The remainder of the witnesses derives from a reconstructed major descendant of U, namely Z, whose one reconstructed descendant A, from which a number of available mss. were copied, still preserves many readings of the archetype. Z’s other descendant, called Q, is the ancestor of the hypothetical exemplars R and S. Among these two, S is the ancestor of B and especially of C, which is the hypothetical exemplar to which 29 available mss. eventually go back and which represents the vulgate version of the NBh. Multiple contamination lines originating from hypothetical exemplars as well as available mss. could be detected. A first version of the resulting stemma was presented at the 14th World Sanskrit Conference (September 1-5, 2009) held at Kyoto University. After the end of the project, the stemma was further revised through a systematic comparative analysis of variant readings of mss. within some selected groups and through the renewed examination of the ms. images at crucial points (see
For the edition of the text, a new method of presentation of the variant readings was employed. The apparatus for variants does not contain each and every reading of the manuscripts. If possible, readings of hypothetical exemplars are reconstructed from the available variants under consideration of the stemmatic hypothesis and following additional, clearly determined criteria. Other apparatuses to the critical text contain glosses found in the mss., selected relevant variant readings from the existent printed editions, and readings from independent or secondary witnesses. The edition of the Trisūtrībhāṣya was completed in this way. The reconstructed text of the archetype presents a large number of new substantial readings and can be considered much closer to Vātsyāyana’s original text than the vulgate represented by the mss. derived from C. The vulgate text is also the one found in all printed editions besides those by Anantalal Thakur, who eclectically used readings of J2D, and possibly of the edition by Phanibhushana Tarkavagisha, which unexpectedly contains some readings close to those of J1D. Following one more close and systematic examination and revision, the critically edited text will be ready for publication, supplemented by an exposition of the stemma, the formulated ms. descriptions, the survey of NBh mss., the annotated bibliography of printed editions (see below), and the full collated text, which will allow the reader to track the editors’ procedure and see all variant readings.
The draft of the critical edition of the entire NBh on NS 1.1 after the Trisūtrī was also completed during the last year of the project.
The voluminous annotated survey of all known mss. of the NBh, related to the available mss. (“Concordance of Manuscripts”), will be a valuable tool for any future text-critical and text-genealogical work on the NBh on a possibly expanded ms. basis; the annotated bibliography of the editions, worked out on the basis of the collation of 17 editions, will serve as a guideline to the use and evaluation of the existent editions, and provides information on modern commentaries on the text. Among the resulting studies related to the NBh, on Nyāya metaphysics and epistemology, and on selected sūtrapāṭha mss., Muroya’s article entitled “Nyāyamañjarī shahon no rangai-chū ni tsuite” [Marginal Notes in the Manuscripts of the Nyāyamañjarī] (published in the Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies 58.1, 2009, p. 338-335) received the “Japanese Association of Indian and Buddhist Studies Prize” for 2010.